SPRING CREEK — Despite being outshot and out-possessed throughout the contest, the Spring Creek boys soccer team was competitive in the first half versus McQueen.
However, the second half was a different story.
The Lancers — after leading 3-1 at halftime — broke from the blocks and ran away from the Spartans after the break, scoring seven goals in a 30-minute span for a 10-2 mercy-rule victory.
Spring Creek was without several key players, including freshman goalie Brady Smith — senior Kyle Bixler stepping between the posts for the Spartans.
In the early going, Bixler made some great stops.
However, in the 10th minute — McQueen took a 1-0 lead as senior Kit Johnson benefitted from a great pass to the middle from the right wing by junior Ethan Griffin.
Just three minutes later, junior Spencer Anderson drew a foul on the right wing for the Spartans.
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He took the penalty kick and beat the keeper with a shot to the lower-right portion of the frame — tying the contest 1-1 in the 13th minute.
The Lancers answered and went to the front for good in the 25th minute.
On a long ball down the field, a Spring Creek defender missed a header attempt — leaving running room ahead of the pack for No. 27 — not listed on the Lancers’ roster — who beat the goalie with a cross from the right side of the box to the left side of the net for a 2-1 cushion.
Just before the break, he notched his second goal of the contest — extending the advantage to 3-1 in the 37th minute.
In the second half, he booked a hat trick.
This time, he worked free on the left side of the field and nailed his cross across the grain to the right side.
McQueen added to its lead with the second goal of the half in the 49th minute on a header in a pack.
One minute removed from taking a 5-1 lead, the flood gates opened further.
Griffin tallied two goals in as many minutes with some remarkable shots.
On both occasions, he used great ball handling to free himself and turn his shoulders — rocketing consecutive left-footed rips from the middle of the field — opening a 6-1 advantage in the 50th minute and pushing the margin to 7-1 in the 51st.
He nearly added another score immediately after, but Bixler made a nice save on a similar look.
While he did not score again, Griffin set one up with a smooth pass — hooking up with sophomore Roberto Castillo for an 8-1 onslaught in the 57th minute.
Spring Creek gained it second goal the same way it earned its first, courtesy of a McQueen foul in the box — the contact minimal — sophomore Nathan Morrill drawing the call on the left edge.
Anderson once again took and booked the penalty kick — cashing his second goal of the game — making the score 8-2 in the 62nd minute.
But, the Lancers continued to possess, pass and dribble around and through the Spartans’ defense.
Castillo unleashed a boomer from near midfield and roped the ball into the top of the frame for a 9-2 lead in the 69th minute.
After only a minute elapsed, McQueen landed the knockout blow.
Castillo drove the left side of the box and crossed a pretty pass to the right corner, finding Sebastian Villacorta for a toe-poke finish.
The game ended with 10 minutes remaining, as the Lancers notched a mercy-rule win with the margin at eight goals — beating Spring Creek 10-2.
The Spartans (1-5) will take on Bishop Manogue (1-0-1) at 11:45 a.m. Saturday, in Spring Creek, the Miners coming off a 2-2 tie Friday in Elko.
The Lancers (3-0) will face the Indians (2-3-1) at 11:45 a.m. Saturday, at Adobe Middle School.